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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Tracy Comic Show 2017!

This is the first post that will have a Comic Book Brigade video and then more prose afterward to explain things a bit more in detail. Video is tricky. As scary as this may be, I am a better writer than talker.

Furthermore, and I don't get this, but video over a certain amount of minutes loses people's attention-span. Yeah, we are in an era where mostly everyone magically has ADD.

So cutting things out to minimize video length is a concern. So, video and then written commentary to explain things more in detail is how this is gonna go.

I mentioned this in TCM G+ group that I had no intention of becoming a regular dealer. True, just wanted to make some space in my comic collection and habitat, support a great cause and growing comic con that deserves to be on the radar of NorCal/East Bay comic fans, and get Kevin Eastman's signature.

So there's that three prong approach to why I wanted to vend at the Tracy Comic Show. Well, actually, it was a four prong approach as the experience part is also a plus as well.

I had a lot of fun at this show. Let's get that out of the way, and I think it is a really great show. I asked a bunch of peeps who were attendees what they thought and all had praise.

For me, the really great thing was just talking comics with other fans. No specubation or stroking "authority" egos that's becoming a major turn-off, just good ole fashion fandom.

Talking to other comic fans on a straight-up level of fandom is liberating. One homie even asked for Ralph Snart comics. Anybody remember that dude from the day by Now Comics?

What about Wacky Squirrel or Badger? If you a Ron Lim fan, you should know some Badger. Once again, just fans being fans and far removed from online speculation groups.

Whether I was vendin' or attendin', I would've went regardless for Kevin Eastman. Yes, I did buy that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3 from Steve Wyatt at StocktonCon to get signed at the Tracy Comic Show.

To be honest, I didn't really have any specific idea of which comic to get signed by the man prior. I was actually thinking of getting a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 from the Archie series signed that I had prior to finding that issue #3.

I got that comic in a comic lot, and the funny thing was that it didn't sell at the show. Nobody was really even looking for TMNT comics at the show despite Kevin Eastman being there. Well, maybe at my booth, that is.

It was strange and not so strange. A few who did visit my booth had already brought their TMNT comics or items from home to get signed. Still, I figured that TMNT comic would've sold but nope!

So the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3 actually sort of fell into my lap when I spotted it at Steve Wyatt's booth at Stockton Con this year. Steve Wyatt? Good deal, most likely a high-grade TMNT #3 copy! 

Besides, that's an early issue from the original comic series by Mirage, a true indie. Nothing against the Archie series, but the early Mirage is where it all started.

Kevin Eastman was actually a really cool guy. No, I didn't get video of him. I may try next time he makes it down to the north side, but he commented on how he loves seeing all the "old stuff" and how my copy was still in "really good condition".

Pretty much got lucky on that issue #3, and I did mention getting that in The Hunt Is On @ StocktonCon video. Don't worry, an extended write up on that Northern California comic con is in the works as well.

It wasn't mega busy at the beginning of the show, but it wasn't like I had a whole lot of time to just hang out at his booth and shoot the breeze since it was just me vendin'. So, I said hello and a few words of praise, got my book signed and tended my booth.

I think that one is going to get graded at CBCS, and it is definitely for my PC period! Nothing to do with speculation when it comes to this one. I love the little sketch he did.

However, I can't deny that early Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics have great comic investment potential. Am I the first to say that? Absolutely not.

I'm sure I'm not the first to say that TMNT is definitely here to stay either and has passed over to the next generation and will probably do so again. In short, they are most definitely part of pop culture, and comic book culture. 

Popularity is still growing for the Turtles In A Half-Shell! That is saying quite a bit for an indie comic back in 1984. Might as well jump! Jump!

Okay, so the third issue isn't exactly scarce or anything, but it doesn't have a ridiculously high print run in the hundreds of thousands either. Issue #2 has a pretty low print run at 15,000 copies and even that issue is over-looked on the secondary market for the most part.

The turtles are currently 33 years old. In 7 years they will be 40 years old if you can believe that!

As for Batman #404, that comic is not something this site has just recently mentioned. R.T. White did a post on it way back when and called it an "Entry Level" comic investment. At the time, that would be a correct term, but I think this influential Frank Miller comic needs to graduate from there.

I revisited the importance of that comic several times. The fact that Miller's Dark Knight Returns has taken off for collectors because of a one Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice flick that sucked and was a tad based off Miller's classic story but Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy was in large part based off Batman Year One story and was awesome but the secondary market still continues to ignore these comics is beyond me.

But, let's forget about the movie hype or lack of movie hype for those comics. I can say this all day, but Batman Year One is a classic, and like I mentioned in the video, it influenced not only the tone of Batman comics to follow, but the characters of Barbara Gordon Batgirl and Catwoman.

These are not small influences either. Catwoman's modernized characterization is pretty much cemented in comics of today. Barbara Gordon's Oracle was also cemented as well and helped to found Birds of Prey.

I have mentioned these in the 2018 report I recently wrote up (decided against publishing it), and I also recently mentioned in that report that Batman #404 doesn't actually have Selina Kyle suit up as Catwoman. Yes, she doesn't actually suit up as Catwoman until issue #406 and here are the panels of that.

scenes from Batman #406 pre-Catwoman

So, the panel above is earlier in the issue and sees Selina punch out her pimp Stan and allude to becoming a cat burglar or having a better idea. Then she shows up later in Batman #406 and is seen briefly suiting up as Catwoman before she takes off.

1st cameo of Modern Catwoman in Batman #406

Pretty much a cameo since she does not appear in costume again in that issue. However, she does shows up again in Batman #407, and she is in costume in that issue and shown in action.

Let's take you to ring side here:

scenes from Batman #407 - 1st full modern Catwoman


So, since I mentioned it in the video, the End End of Gotham is home to two famous residents and they are Catwoman and Holly Robinson. Catwoman is the protector of the East End and here's how this under-developed area of Gotham first appears.

scenes from Batman #404 - 1st East End of Gotham

Crime Alley is also located in the East End of Gotham, and as any self-respecting Batman and comic book fan knows, Crime Alley is where Joe Chill gunned down Thomas and Martha Wayne right in front of a young Bruce, an act that would traumatize the lad and push him to becoming Gotham's Dark Knight! Crime Alley was known as Park Row before.

Ironically, Crime Alley is also where Jason Todd tried jacking the Batmobile's tires in this rebooted continuity that is known as Post-Crisis. And, once again, the New-Earth version or Post-Crisis version of Jason Todd is the character that becomes the costumed vigilante known as Red Hood.

Is a newsstand copy a big deal or not when it comes to Batman #404? It is a 1987 book, and I'm sure it may have had a larger than normal print run. However, I do see raw newsstands on eBay quite a bit. Right now, they are definitely not hard to find or get.
I have been watching this book for a while now and high grade CGC newsstand copies pop up every once in a while on eBay. Not as often as one would think though. Direct market, however, are all over the place and constitute most that wind up on eBay.

That's just what I've observed. Doesn't mean it's set in stone or anything. After all, Chuck Rozanski over at Mile High does clock in the percentage of Marvel newsstand distribution at 50% during 1986. Who knows how little or at all that percentage dropped a year later?

When it comes to Jack Kirby DC work and the Demon #1, it's just a comic I've always wanted since I do like the character. Actually, my brother collected and read the volume 3 series back in the ole 1990s. The first issue has a bad ass cover by Val Seimiks and Dennis Rodier, and I did read quite a few issues from that series as well.

So, because you know I like the history of things, Etrigan the Demon was created when Kirby's Fourth World comics were being cancelled by DC Comics. Horror comics were making a resurgence during this time due to the Comics Code relaxing some of their rules (ASM drug issues) and demand for the genre was growing.

It's said that Kirby had little interest in horror but relented due to DC's demand in the creation of more characters for that specific genre. Story also goes that Kirby was annoyed that Demon #1 sold so well and that he had to dedicate himself to do sixteen more issues and abandon his Fourth World titles before finishing them.

Demon is, perhaps, the first newly created horror character from the Bronze Age side of DC Comics to star in his own headlining comic series. Swamp Thing #1 didn't come out until September of 1972 (cover date November), and Phantom Stranger's revival and new volume 2 series started in 1969.

Demon #1 has the cover date of August/September, 1972 and the release or on sale date of June. Jason Blood and Etrigan may have not been the first horror character spawned from the Bronze Age resurgence of horror, but they are most likely the first DC character/characters created during this resurgence to headline their own on-going series.

Not to put a damper on Swamp Thing #1 either. That's definitely an over-looked 70s horror resurgence comic to have. Over-looked, under-valued.

So, Demon #1, important book to have? I think so, and besides loving the cover, it's a comic I wanted and that I've expressed wanting other than Tomb of Dracula #1 and Marvel Spotlight #2. Got an offer I couldn't refuse and pulled the trigger on it.

Yes, that comic came with Black Lightening #1. Now, I know there's a TV show coming out. I honestly did not speculate on that book. It's really not a high enough grade for the amount of demand (or lack of) to speculate or even invest in.

I just wanted it because I have a feeling I'm really going to enjoy the show. So far I like what Greg Berlanti is doing over at the CW, and I have not been shy in saying that I am a big fan of the Flash TV show.

Cosplayers! I did not get the cosplay name of the Wonder Woman at the Tracy Comic Show but just found out that it is Tera Storm Tas Cosplay. She was nice to take the time to pose for that video. Sorry, I didn't name ya in the video but will definitely do so next time.

Think I should thank Jim Mora as well since he did bring her over to our section for a picture. I think he sold her that shield also. Oh, I did get that Batman #404 and Punisher lot from Jim at the show.

Meeting Euell, Romy, Jim and several comic fans were highlights of the show for me. I do hope I run into them again. Kevin Eastman was very cool too and hope he makes it down to a bay area con again sometime soon. There were other celebrity guests like Kathy Garver as well.

I might as well put links to the instagram profiles of uniquelyjiawei and here's Guillermo G Jr. Creations. Saw them again at Heroes 'N Villains Fan Fest and was nice briefly running into them.

Wanted to give Rachel and those involved with the Tracy Comic Show a big shout out. Hopefully, this will help to spread the word and bring more awareness about this comic show!

For those who are already aware of the Tracy Comic Show, be sure to like their facebook page as well.


  1. Wowza! Must be coincidence. I just completed
    my Mazzuchelli/Miller run with number 405. When
    you look at all the modern shit, this really is adult
    entertainment! I mean, it' s almost like watching
    a tv show. Panels move smoothly into each other.
    Story is cool. Art is gorgeous. Just like a nice glas
    of wine.

    Max Rebo

    1. Major Rebo, I agree. That run was such a great story. No surprise Goyer took a lot from Year One for Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. It will be, and should be, more sought out Batman keys from that time.

      #408 is still widely over-looked as well.

  2. You can't go wrong with the TMNT early Mirage books and Bronze Age #1 issues of the horror/supernatural characters. They should sustain or increase in value for the long haul. I think the Year One story line a very important and undervalued in my opinion. I wish I had the Canadian Price Variants for them along with some other Batman/Detective issues.


    1. Talk about coincidence...I've been asking around for the Batman Year One Canadian variants. Have yet to see any pop up in a decent grade to my liking. Golden Age horror over-looked/undervalued, bronze age horror resurgence books should be more in demand. Don't get me started on them 70s Marvel Magazines.